Getting hurt on the job can cause a host of issues for a worker in Texas. Not only do you have to deal with the symptoms of your injury, but you may have to miss work while you recover. In theory, workers’ compensation serves as a critical stopgap that protects workers who require medical attention and lose out on wages because of an injury that occurs at work.
Your employer should cooperate when you file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you are able to work with certain accommodations, like regular breaks, assistive technology or a change in tasks, they should reasonably attempt to help you return to the job.
Unfortunately, some companies would rather retaliate against a worker who gets hurt on the job than cooperate with or accommodate them.
What does retaliation after a workers’ compensation claim look like?
There are many ways in which your employer could theoretically retaliate against you for seeking benefits under workers’ compensation. They could write you up or punish you for the accident itself or for minor infractions after your injury.
They might even demote you, transfer you to a different facility, offer you a worse shift or expect you to do the most difficult jobs, even if your injury prevents you from doing them safely. In some cases, retaliation can continue up to the point of termination or to a point where a worker feels so mistreated on the job that they quit because of a hostile work environment.
Federal law protects workers from retaliation after a workplace injury
Your employer should never engage in acts of retaliation after you assert your rights as an American worker or comply with the law. Both those who claim workers’ compensation and those who request reasonable accommodations related to an injury should have protection from retaliation by their employer.
Unfortunately, companies can and do still retaliate against workers and violate the law in doing so. You may be able to bring a claim against your employer for lost wages or even potentially get your job back if you lost your position in an act of retaliation after a workplace injury.